Matthew Hilton | icon 052 | October 2007

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words Anna Bates

Matthew Hilton has set up his own brand. For the launch at 100% Design London, the British designer created ten pieces, including a side table shaped like an I-beam, a coffee table inspired by a building and a dining chair that references traditional English country furniture.

The collection includes ideas Hilton shelved while working to tight briefs for other manufacturers, such as SCP, Driade and Habitat.“I need the manufacturer’s restrictions to push against,” says Hilton. “So it took me a while to get going. But then things started to happen. I wanted to design individual pieces that didn’t necessarily work together – I didn’t want a matching collection with a common theme.”
The structure of Hilton’s MH020 Thin Coffee Table is inspired by a building with a cast concrete frame that Hilton saw when he was in Rio de Janeiro. The surface of the table is handcarved to achieve the faceted design.

The MH004 Dining Chair With Arms was inspired by more conventional forms. “I’ve been collecting photos of old English country chairs for ages and wanted to do something with them,” says Hilton. “I wanted to keep the rawness that chairs used to have before the 1890s, when there were no factories.”

The furniture is produced by manufacturers in Eastern Europe using basic woodworking techniques, and comes in mahogany, teak or paramara, an indiginous tree from Southeast Asia. The collection also comprises a dining table, arm chair, stainless-steel candlesticks, bowls and cushions, all available through Hilton’s website and eventually to be sold through retailers.

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